Darkstalkers Resurrection Achievements is not only the latest Capcom collection to apply a glossy HD sheen on top of a classic, 2D fighter, but it's also the long-awaited return of what was, outside of Morrigan's appearing in nearly every cross-over game known to Capcom, a forgotten franchise. Darkstalkers Resurrection is testing the waters for Capcom to determine if there is enough demand for a full-blown return to the cult-favorite Gothic Horror universe of supernatural monsters throwing down using QCF+P.
Darkstalkers first debuted in 1994 and was Capcom’s first attempt at an original fighting franchise outside of Street Fighter. Featuring supernatural monsters based off of classic Gothic Horror designs, such as Dracula (Demitri), Frankenstein’s Monster (Victor), the Wolfman (John Talbain) and British heavy metal zombies (Lord Raptor), Darkstalkers was an instant hit. An anime, a Saturday morning cartoon and two follow up games soon followed before the franchise was, outside of the aforementioned Capcom cross-overs, laid to rest. Darkstalkers Resurrection collects the second and third games in the franchise, Night Warriors and Darkstalkers 3: Vampire Savior, in one classic HD bundle with a few bells and whistles.
Right off the bat, the graphics have a few different filters that you can apply, from the classic look to HD, include scanlines or even play in the “arcade cabinet” view. No matter how you decide to view the graphics, the 2D sprites retain their very fluid animations and unique character designs which make them look just as great now as they did nearly 20 years ago. A game’s age doesn't matter much if the style and design is consistent throughout the entire experience, and Darkstalkers Resurrection is a great example of game design.
The actual gameplay, the 2D combat, is still a lot of fun in this day and age. Using the standard Street Fighter control scheme and nomenclature, it’s easy to dive right into a match. Each game features a variation of the super meter that fills up as you are attacking or being attacked, and then you can expend meter to unleash “ES attacks”, which are the exact same as “EX moves” from https://www.trueachievements.com/Street-Fighter-IV/achi....htm, or dump more meter into a super attack. The combo heavy gameplay is fast but not quite as fast as Marvel vs. Capcom, though it’s not as technical as a Street Fighter title. Regarding gameplay, Darkstalkers is the middle ground between the two extreme franchises in the Capcom catalog.
Darkstalkers 3: Vampire Savior incorporates a staggered round format, where instead of having matches broken into rounds, matches are broken into lifebars. For example, a “two round” match will result in the loser’s lifebar being filled up to full while the winner’s lifebar remains the same. It’s an odd structure that sometimes makes comebacks very difficult, but your super meter will fill up faster if you’re getting the crap kicked out of you, so there is an odd balance to it.
While you’re trying to actually win a match, you might forget about the music, which would be a shame as some of the stage music sounds like it was lifted right out of the classic Symphony of the Night. In fact, the stages themselves are filled with Gothic Horror touches and Jedah’s stage from Darkstalkers 3: Vampire Savior, brought back memories of the final sequence from Clive Barker's Jericho Achievements.
One of the bullet point features added to this collection is online matchmaking, which is nearly lag-free thanks to the GGPO netcode. Out of all the matches I played online, only once did I encounter lag. Once your match is over, you can download a replay and then, once your YouTube account is hooked up to Darkstalkers Resurrection, it takes one button press to upload your match. Thanks to the ease of use of this feature, not only can you read about Darkstalkers Resurrection, you can watch me lose horribly in online ranked matches!
Thankfully for un-named parties that may be really bad at Darkstalkers Resurrection, the Tutorial mode is very comprehensive. The AI will demonstrate a move or combo and then will require you to correctly input it five times in a row before moving on to the next move or combo. Challenge mode, which seems like it’s mandatory in all Capcom fighters now, also makes its debut in the Darkstalkers franchise. Each character only has five challenges but they vary in difficulty from “Wow! That one was easy!” to “When is VesperArcade going to make a video series for this game?”
Of course, if you want the full 400 points from Darkstalkers Resurrection, you cannot avoid the Challenge mode. In bringing the Darkstalkers franchise to the modern era, Iron Galaxy, the developer in charge of this port, grafted a horribly achievement list onto a perfectly acceptable HD collection. 3 achievements are related to clearing the arcade mode in each game, 3 more achievements relate to various in-game actions, which is all fine so far. The problem is that 3 more achievements are tied to replays, one for winning ten ranked matches and two more relate to training mode. You might be wondering where the issue is with the achievement list, and the issue is that all those achievements only add up to twelve out of thirty total achievements.
An incredible eighteen achievements, one for each playable character, are unlocked by completing Challenge mode. If you even want it hit the fifty percent completion mark in Darkstalkers Resurrection, you will need to invest some time in learning the combos for at least three separate characters. This is not a bad thing, but if the achievements were a bit more spread out between the two games and the actual one-on-one fights, the list would be easier to tolerate.
At the end of the day, Darkstalkers Resurrection is a great piece of fan-service and the easiest, cheapest way to acquire a playable home version of Darkstalkers 3: Vampire Savior. As with Marvel vs. Capcom Origins Achievements, Darkstalkers Resurrection relies heavily on nostalgia but it also contains two very good fighting games. Fans of the genre and Capcom’s take on it in particular, will enjoy this game though the price is a bit steep, if you have waited years for Darkstalkers to rise from the grave, its money well spent.
For everyone else that are not fans of Capcom’s mid-90’s fighting games, you might enjoy Darkstalkers Resurrection because of the excellent character design and overall tone of the franchise, but it would be best to wait for a sale. The achievements require skill with linking, cancels and dash-canceling that is simply a bit too much for someone new to the genre. So for those of you that are curious, the three stars mean that Darkstalkers Resurrection is a very good game for fans of the genre and might be worth your time if fighting games aren’t typically your genre of choice.
The reviewer spent 8 hours over the course of two nights enjoying every mode both titles had to offer. He only unlocked 11 out of 30 achievements as his ranked match skills were lacking and attempting the challenges caused his hands to cramp. The game is a personal copy paid for by the reviewer himself.
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